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what is a postpartum doula?

Postpartum doulas provide support customized to address the unique needs of each woman and family. Her services include, but may not be limited to… 

Nurturing of the new mother: tips to help the post-birth healing process, discussion of rest and nutrition needs, a listening ear, assistance processing the birth experience, meal or snack preparation, and caring for the needs of the home so mom can sleep or rest

Infant feeding support:  training, experience, and additional resources for both breastfeeding moms and bottle-feeding parents, with additional training to support the lactation journey

New baby care education:  building your confidence in the basics of infant care, such as bathing, cord care, circumcision care, dressing, cloth or disposable diapering, infant soothing techniques, and patterns and habits to establish good baby sleep

Family adjustment: support for the whole family’s adjustment to life with new baby, including partners, siblings, and pets

Meal preparation: a home-cooked meal made fresh and ready-to-eat

Household care: laundry, linens, sweeping, vacuuming, dishes, light cleaning, plant care, pet care, dog walking, and errand-running

Sibling care: care for older children so that parents and baby can rest and bond

Limitations of Services: Postpartum doulas do not...
1. perform medical or clinical tasks, such as exams or monitoring.
2. provide cleaning services beyond light housework as detailed above.
3. provide childcare beyond as detailed above.

what are the benefits of hiring a postpartum doula?

Studies show that non-medical, non-judgmental support in the postpartum time is one of the biggest factors determining breastfeeding success, confident parenting, and the avoidance of postpartum anxiety and/or depression in both mothers and fathers. Not only that, but most clients tell us that having a postpartum doula helped them enjoy their first few months with their baby, rather than just survive them.

 

is it normal to need help after having a baby?

Becoming a parent is not necessarily intuitive in all aspects. We help you build your confidence in your ability to care for your child(ren), and we help you care for yourself, too. Most parents feel overwhelmed at some point in the first days, weeks, or months after having a baby/babies, and many of us don't have communities helping us rest, recover, and learn after childbirth--as women have had throughout much of history.  It absolutely IS normal to need help after having a baby. It takes a village to raise a child, and most parents could use at least a little "village" once in a while. 

 
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what happens on a typical visit?

A typical daytime visit usually includes some discussion with the new parents about feeding the baby/babies, postpartum healing, family adjustment and newborn care, as well as household care and preparing snacks and/or meals. If you're seeking specific help with breastfeeding, our visit will naturally revolve around whatever questions or issues you have regarding feeding your baby. We are trained to counsel, assess the baby's latch if necessary, and make suggestions as we work together to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems. A typical nighttime visit usually begins with a "check-in" where the parent(s) update the doula on how the day went for the baby/babies, what the baby/babies and the parent(s) need for the night, the goals for the visit, etc. Then, the parent(s) head to bed and the doula handles the nighttime care of the baby (other than breastfeeding) in order to maximize sleep for everyone. When appropriate, nighttime parenting strategies or other topics will be discussed.

how do i pay for a postpartum doula?

We accept cash, checks, and credit cards, and we try to work with everyone's budget. If you feel we are a good fit for your family, please let us know if our rates are prohibitive for your situation. We are open to payment plans and possibly other arrangements. Also, many families are able to be partially reimbursed by their health insurance or completely reimbursed by their HSA/FSA accounts. If your visit includes specific breastfeeding support and counseling, typically health insurance will cover those portions of service. Finally, we offer gift certificates as well; put Better Beginnings on your registry or gift wish list (try babyli.st or an Amazon Universal Registry!), and be sure to mention our services to grandparents or friends and family who are out-of-town! People who want to help but live far away can pay for some support from a postpartum doula. Finally, we offer discounted pricing for teen moms, adoptive parents, active-duty military families, and birth mothers who are placing their babies for adoption. Please contact us if you are in one of these situations.